Home >Industry >Energy >Denmark’s IFU and UN’s S3i acquire stake in Acme Solar’s Rajasthan project

New Delhi: Denmark’s state-owned fund IFU and United Nations Office for Project Services' S3i have acquired 39% and 10% stake respectively in Acme Solar Holdings Ltd’s 250 megawatt (MW) solar project in Rajasthan, the companies announced on Thursday.

Acme Solar holds the majority 51% stake in the project, which has a total investment requirement of euro 150 million and was awarded by state-run Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd (SECI).

This equity stake dilution at the project level by Acme follows Norway’ Scatec becoming an equal partner in a 900 MW solar project in Rajasthan, that Acme is setting up. Acme Solar earlier sold two solar projects totaling 400MW to Actis Long Life Infrastructure Fund and 100 MW to Petroliam Nasional Bhd owned Amplus.

Mint earlier reported about Acme Solar Holdings Ltd. looking to sell 4.84 gigawatt (GW) of solar projects.

“ACME has signed a landmark shareholders’ agreement with UNOPS S3i and IFU for developing a 250-megawatt solar power plant located in the Rajasthan State of India," the companies said in a joint statement on Thursday.

This stake sale from India’s largest pure-play solar platform comes in the backdrop of India’s low solar power tariffs and the global energy landscape’s focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing.

“The total value of the project is the equivalent of just under US$ 200 million, of which about a quarter are financed through equity contributions by the three co-investors," the statement added.

Acme Solar is the last entirely promoter-owned large green energy platform in India and of its portfolio of 5 GW, 2.3 GW is operational.

“This partnership is a key milestone towards ACME’s vision for developing a portfolio of 25 GW of RE projects which comes in line with India’s plans to achieve 450 GW of RE power by 2030," ACME Group founder and chairman Manoj Upadhyay said in the joint statement.

This comes at a time when one of the largest tranches of Indian clean energy contracts on offer, with developers eyeing projects of at least 9 GW that will be bid out by SECI, Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) and Rewa Ultra Mega Solar Ltd. (RUMSL)—a joint venture between SECI and Madhya Pradesh UrjaVikas Nigam Ltd.

Acme Solar, founded in 2003 by Upadhyay, has been looking at new business opportunities in energy storage, green hydrogen and ammonia. It plans to produce green hydrogen in India and Europe with Lhyfe Labs SAS of France. Acme Solar and Oman’ Tatweer also plan to invest $2.5 billion for green ammonia and green hydrogen production.

“IFU’s investment is made on behalf of the Danish SDG Investment Fund, which is backed by the Danish state, larger Danish pension funds and other private investors," IFU said in a separate statement.

“UNOPS, a UN organisation, will co-invest through Sustainable Investments in Infrastructure and Innovation (S3i), set up to deliver both social and environmental impact," the IFU statement added.

There is a continued interest in India’s green economy despite the pandemic, and the problems faced by the sector including an increase in solar photo voltaic module prices that will impact 4 GW projects awarded over the last six to nine months.

India is running the world’s largest clean energy programme to achieve 175 GW of renewable capacity, including 100GW of solar power by 2022. According to the Central Electricity Authority, by 2030, the country’s power requirement would be 817GW, more than half of which would be clean energy, and 280GW would be from solar energy alone.

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